Explores different perceptions of the relationship between the Earth and the Moon, including what early astronomers thought, the Cold War space race, and the potential future use of the Moon as a stepping stone to more space exploration.
An intimate portrait of the Earth's closest neighbor--the Moon--that explores the history and future of humankind's relationship with it
Every generation has looked towards the heavens and wondered at the beauty of the Moon. Fifty years ago, a few Americans became the first to do the reverse--and shared with Earth-bound audiences the view of their own planet hanging in the sky instead.
Recently, the connection has been discovered to be even closer: a fragment of the Earth's surface was found embedded in a rock brought back from the Moon. And astronauts are preparing to return to the surface of the Moon after a half-century hiatus--this time to the dark side.
Oliver Morton explores how the ways we have looked at the Moon have shaped our perceptions of the Earth: from the controversies of early astronomers such as van Eyck and Galileo, to the Cold War space race, to the potential use of the Moon as a stepping stone for further space exploration.
Advanced technologies, new ambitions, and old dreams mean that men, women, and robots now seem certain to return to the Moon. For some, it is a future on which humankind has turned its back for too long. For others, an adventure yet to begin.
"An engaging, multifaceted view of the moon... an account that is not only rich in facts, but leavened with fiction, for the author seems to have read widely in the literature of science fiction to show the interest, ideas, and fantasies people have had about our nearest companion in the solar system... Accessible, informative, and entertaining-first-rate popular science reporting."--Kirkus (starred review) "A hymn to the Moon. I can't think of a wiser, more eloquent or better-informed companion for a journey around our natural satellite than Oliver Morton, whose poetic prose displays a breadth of knowledge not often found in science writing."--Roger Highfield, director of external affairs, the Science Museum Group Our Moon, a spherical bit of unchanging inanimate rock, nonetheless captivates us with its romance and its beauty. Its tantalizing almost deceptive proximity makes it also a destination, both a past one and a promising one for the future. In this poetically written and informative book, Oliver Morton takes us through all aspects of this very familiar but very foreign territory, which has inspired stories and study for decades. What a remarkable achievement and one well worth exploring.--Lisa Randall, Frank B. Baird Professor of Science, Harvard University "Beautifully written: evocative, witty, and truly informative. I thought I knew a lot about the Moon but I nonetheless learned all sorts of fascinating new things, and thoroughly enjoyed myself doing so. Combining science and science fiction is not easy and Oliver Morton manages it seamlessly and brilliantly! Superb."--Adam Roberts, author of The Palgrave History of Science Fiction and The Thing Itself "A multidisciplinary triumph, combining a deep understanding of science fiction and myth with accurate, up-to-date lunar science and space technology."--David Morrison, founding director, NASA Lunar Science Institute "The Moon is such a fascinating object in human history. From its dominance in our neighboring sphere, to its romantic impetus, to its symbol of national stature, to its position as a mere stepping stone to greater exploits, the Moon has been omnipresent in the human sky. And no book about the Moon that I've ever read captures the multifaceted nature of the Moon as does Oliver Morton's The Moon. As impressive as the subject matter he deals with is the quality of Oliver Morton's writing. Whether describing the clockwork of the lunar cycle or the history of the Moon's influence in human affairs, Morton's writing is clear, incredibly informative, and flows like poetry. A truly delightful and informative read."--Rusty Schweickart, lunar module pilot, Apollo IX